After the loss of a loved one, you need competent probate attorney to guide you through the complexity of the probate and estate administration process. Buell & Ezell's probate and trust administration practice is focused on helping families through this difficult time, while simplifying the legal complexities that they are confronted with.
Probate is the court supervised distribution of a person's property at death. When an individual dies owning property in his or her name, that property generally must go through probate. Probate is a legal procedure that establishes ownership of property in others. The probate system is designed to ensure the validity of a will, to give notice to all possible claimants of property, and to resolve ownership disputes and rights. Probate courts also distribute property not covered by a will (intestate estates) according to legal defaults. Procedurally, the probate court first establishes whether the deceased left a valid will. If so, the probate process guides the division of property in accordance with the will's provisions. If the estate is intestate or if a will is found to be invalid, the probate division applies state laws to divide up the estate. The probate court then signs off on the final accounting of the distribution, thereby finalizing the transfers of ownership. In Colorado, the average probate takes about 5-6 months. Probate administration will involve the following basic steps:
Probate administration only applies to
probate assets. Probate assets are those assets that the decedent owned in his
or her sole name at death, or that were owned by the decedent and one or more
co-owners and lacked a provision for automatic succession of ownership at
Trust administration is very similar to probate except it involves a private administration of the affairs of the deceased person and not a public administration through a probate court. There is a common misconception that if you create a Revocable Living Trust (RLT) during lifetime your family will not have to do any work to transfer your assets upon death. Typically, a RLT is less costly and more efficient than probate upon death, however, there are still necessary steps to be taken in order to properly administer the estate according to the purposes of the trust. Trust administration will involve the following basic steps:
Below is a brief list of the actions which a Personal Representative or Trustee should take upon the death of a loved one. This is not an exhaustive list of all actions to be taken, rather, it simply provides general suggestions.
For a consultation with
Buell & Ezell call (719) 444-8900 or send an e-mail to:
Consultations by appointment only.
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